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Cannabis has an incredibly robust therapeutic profile and research shows that it can provide significant relief for various types of pain, inflammation, arthritis, difficulties sleeping, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, fibromyalgia, cancer and cancer treatment-related symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

The cannabis plant is made up of over 500 compounds and contains 104 active cannabinoids. Of those 104 active cannabinoids, delta-9-
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most well-known compound. Believed to be the primary cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive feeling, or “high”, THC is often the reason many individuals dismiss the therapeutic and medical applications of cannabis. However, as research shows, CBD is a powerful non-psychoactive cannabinoid which has a multitude of therapeutic benefits. In addition, it has the potential to mitigate the psychoactive effects of THC when used in conjunction with THC high strains. The range and extent of therapeutic effects of cannabis are dependent on the ratio of THC to CBD, as well as the synergy with the remaining compounds of the plant.

Do I Have To Smoke It & Will I Get High?

Researchers have isolated the two primary compounds in cannabis – THC and CBD. THC is psychoactive and can get you high. CBD (cannabidiol) is a strong antioxidant and neuroprotectant, has no psychoactive properties and does not get you high.

Over decades, researchers have found that THC may help treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and other problems. CBD research indicates that the compound can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In the cannabis plant, CBD and THC generally have an inverse relationship: The more THC there is, the less CBD, and vice versa. In recent years, growers have bred plants to contain high levels of CBD. Research shows the two compounds work synergistically and that for many ailments, combining CBD and THC is best.

There are many alternatives to smoking, which include vaporizers, topicals, sprays, suppositories, oils, tinctures, and edibles. Each method is unique in its effects. Sometimes, employing a combination of methods can be especially effective for managing chronic conditions and targeting a variety of symptoms at the same time. We work with you to determine which alternative will work best for you.

There are more than 25,000 medical studies on cannabis that support most of the claims you read on the Internet or see in the media. If you are interested in reading the research, go to: and search the terms: cannabinoids, cannabis, marijuana, etc.

Studies show that conditions cannabis can be used for include:

  • Pain management/Cancer pain/Migraines/Neuralgia
  • Neurodegenerative diseases, i.e., Parkinson’s disease
  • Anxiety/Insomnia/Depression
  • Weight loss/Weight gain
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Addiction

Alternatives to Smoking

Another commonly stigmatized aspect associated with cannabis is the issue of smoking. However, as more and more patients will attest, smoking has largely fallen out of favor in the patient community. Cannabis patients today rely on oils, capsules, edibles, vaporizing and topical preparations to manage their health using cannabis. To learn more about the health benefits of each of these methods, see below.

There are many ways to use your cannabis other than smoking to better your health. These include:

Vaporizing or “vaping”

  • Vaporizing is a healthier alternative to smoking cannabis. Vaporizing involves a process called decarboxylation which heats the plant matter, without burning it. The risk of damage to your lungs is minimized with this method.
  • One of the great things about vaporizing your medical marijuana is the fast onset of therapeutic effects. Vaporizing allows the therapeutic cannabinoids to enter into your bloodstream via your lungs and thus provide you with relief within 30-60 seconds.
  • Many patients who struggle with breakthrough pain, anxiety or muscle spasms prefer to vaporize at the onset of their symptoms. The downside to this fast-acting method is that the effects only last a short period of time, anywhere between 1-4 hours. For many patients managing a chronic illness, combining vaporizing with other methods often gives them the best results.

Edibles and Sublingual Administration

  • For faster acting effects, you can use your cannabis oil by dropping your dose underneath your tongue. You will feel the effects within a few minutes, but since not all of the oil will be absorbed in this way, you will have to swallow it to get the complete therapeutic relief. Ingesting oils will yield similar effects and will last around the same time as your edibles.
  • Similarly, you can drop your tincture dose underneath your tongue and feel the effects in a matter of minutes. However, tinctures are very potent, alcohol-based products and should be
  • If you are looking for long-acting symptom relief, using edibles, oils and tinctures may be the best option for you. Once you have found your therapeutic dose, you can cook and bake with your cannabutter and cannabis oil. The effects of delicious edibles are felt in approximately 1-2 hours and can last between 6-8 hours. This mode of administration may be especially useful for improving the quality and duration of sleep.
  • Edibles require caution! Because of the slower onset, people will ingest a portion and after 30-60 minutes think, “Nothing is happening”, and will eat more. When the edible finally takes effect, if you’ve eaten too much the effects can become very uncomfortable. Using edibles requires strict attention to the proper dosage.

Topical Applications

  • Applying cannabis topically can be a powerful tool for managing a variety of symptoms. Cannabis oils, creams and salves provide relief in localized areas and minimize the occurrence of any psychoactive side effects of THC. If you are having muscle spasms in your foot, stomach cramps, or your pain is very pronounced in one area of your body, you can use a topical marijuana product to directly target your symptoms.
  • Topicals provide excellent pain and inflammation relief and also promote muscle relaxation.  Cannabis topicals can be combined with aromatherapy to promote even greater relaxation and are one of the more discreet ways you can use your cannabis.

Whether you use edibles and oils, vaporize, or apply topical preparations to localized areas, each method is unique in its effects. Sometimes, employing a combination of methods can be especially effective for managing chronic conditions and targeting a variety of symptoms at the same time.